Stoke City last but not least on Match of the Day
There has been a response from BBC complaints regarding the screening process on their Match of the Day programme. It was asked of them to explain why in many cases, Manchester United are featured first on the show and Stoke City last.
It was also suggested to the BBC that they conduct an historical statistical analysis to ascertain that if the entertainment stakes were marginal in any given game; how many times have United been favoured to be screened first.
Politics in football was also discussed by the complainant regarding possible bias in the screening process. For example, it was suggested that generic control of the game by United was self-perpetuating by the BBC, in so much as the broadcasting company prefer projecting the United image above that of any other club in the Premier League.
The complainant argued that this reflects the principle that Manchester United has become the richest club over the years by default. In that historically, the BBC repeatedly favour them which is the reason why United have remained the most powerful in football. United then cement their dominance in their over projection by becoming even richer which enables them to buy the best players and be the most entertaining. The cycle of 'the richest rules in football' then continues (or words to that effect).
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Leigh Allen from the BBC complaints said:
"Thanks for contacting us regarding 'Match of the day' broadcast on BBC One. We understand that you were unhappy with coverage on 'Match of the Day' because you felt that Stoke City didn't get enough coverage or credit where it was due and that too much time was spent discussing Manchester United. This issue has been brought to the attention of Paul Armstrong, the editor of 'Match of the Day' and this is a brief outline of his explanation;
'Since regaining the Premier League highlight rights in August 2004, our aim has been to provide a more comprehensive review of Saturday's Premier League action. It's our intention that we do not show less than five minutes of a game - in fact we frequently show more. The running order for each programme is determined by the day's big stories, talking points and most entertaining games. There is certainly no perceived bias against or in favour of certain teams. Each match takes its place in the running order on its own merit. And it is precisely for that reason that we send a commentator to every Premier League game on Saturdays and Sundays.'
Paul Armstrong builds on this explanation in the editor's blog. Here is the link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/sporteditors/2006/12/_its_not_just_a_twohorse_race.html
Nevertheless, we'd like to assure you that your feedback has been registered on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers.
The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.